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    • CommentAuthorrld
    • CommentTimeJul 26th 2009
     
    What is the best way to remove yellow glue squeeze out? I've tried immediately wiping excess with a wet rag or sponge with limited success. Today I did not remove the excess until it set up a bit, then spent a couple of hours cleaning, sanding, scraping also with limited success. There has to be a better way. Suggestions please.

    rld
    san diego
    •  
      CommentAuthorNick
    • CommentTimeJul 26th 2009
     
    The trick to removing water-based glue squeeze-out is not to be afraid to get the wood wet -- really wet. If you simply wipe with a wet rag, you're actually forcing the glue into the wood grain. Instead, you need to dissolve the glue and rinse it away. I start with an old credit card and scrape away as much glue as I can, then apply a sopping-wet rag and lightly scrub. When the glue is dissolved, I rinse the rag out and apply it sopping wet again. On the third time around, I rinse the rag and wring it out, then apply it damp to blot up all the water I can.

    Students sometimes ask me if all that water doesn't wash the glue out of the joints. The answer is "Not if the joints are tight." In fact, the water causes the wood to swell and seals the joint so the water can't get in. You rinse away the glue on the surface, but never dilute the glue in the joint one drop.

    With all good wishes,
    Nick
    •  
      CommentAuthorjoedw00
    • CommentTimeJul 26th 2009
     
    The trick to removing water-based glue squeeze-out is not to be afraid to get the wood wet -- really wet.

    This has been my problem, I just wipe it with a wet rag, sometimes it works and sometime it doesn't depending on how much squeeze out there is. Thanks for the tip!!
    • CommentAuthorEarlMorton
    • CommentTimeJul 26th 2009
     
    A few weeks ago I asked about a rosewood pen that I had turned, and that I had sanded with wet micro-fiber pads (as one demonstrator suggested). As soon as the wood got wet, it turned black. You suggested, Nick, that perhaps the minerals in the water reacted with the natural chemicals in the wood and caused a chemical stain.

    Since then, I've been more afraid than before to get my workpieces wet. How do you know which woods are safe to get wet and which are not?

    Earl Morton
    Kent, WA
    • CommentAuthorJPG40504
    • CommentTimeJul 28th 2009
     
    TEST a scrap(?) piece! - or Use distilled water?
    •  
      CommentAuthorNick
    • CommentTimeJul 28th 2009
     
    "How do you know which woods are safe to get wet and which are not?"

    It's always safe to wet wood. Wood, after all, is made out of water. Remember you high school biology: Plants (including trees) suck up water (H2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2). Then the photosynthesis fairy comes and mixes the carbon dioxide with the water to create hydrocarbons (CH2O). This becomes wood and leaves and plant stuff, while the leftover oxygen (O2) escapes into the atmosphere and enables us to breath and start forest fires. Meanwhile, animals eat the tasty plant stuff and become tasty themselves, then we eat the tasty animals and become fat. And that's the circle of life.

    All of which is to say that wood doesn't react with water (except in the presence of leaves, sunlight, and a photosynthesis fairy). Wood, however, will react with something IN the water. It's my guess that an extractive (non-tasty plant stuff) in the wood you were turning reacted with a mineral in the water you were using. The most likely candidate is that ferrous oxide in the water (from rusty pipes) reacted with tannic acid (a common extractive) in the wood. This creates a black stain. It's also possible that the water carried minute amounts of aluminum oxide (from your micromesh abrasives) and this reacted with a chemical in the wood. This can also darken the wood, although it usually shows up as dark spots ("fly specks"). Another possible answer is that the technique itself precipitated the reaction. The method you described generates heat from friction, and the heat may have enabled the reaction between the chemicals in the wood and those in the water. It's perfectly possible that had you applied the water cold, the reaction never would have happened.

    The only way that you can know for sure if the method (speed-sanding) and materials (tap water, abrasives) you are using will change the color of a particular species of wood is to test them. If the wood changes color, you can substitute distilled water for tap water, silicon carbide or garnet for aluminum oxide, or use another method altogether. Unlike high school biology, woodworking is a wonderfully complex endeavor. Sometimes there are no easy answers to even the simplest of questions.

    With all good wishes,
    Nick
    • CommentAuthorEarlMorton
    • CommentTimeJul 28th 2009
     
    Makes sense, even though I took physics in high school! :-)

    Thanks!

    Earl
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